Spider-Man: Big Time and Transformers: Autocracy

There's a slew of jumping-on points for Spider-Man these days. I'd say any of the Dan Slott story banners would do, Ends of the Earth, Spider-Island. And even better, they've all been reasonably acclaimed.

Spider-Man being the reason I got into comics, I couldn't stay away from it for long. Today we're looking at Spider-Man: Big Time and Transformers: Autocracy.

Spider-Man: Big Time
Collects Amazing Spider-Man #648-651
by Dan Slott, Humbertro Ramos and more

"Big Time" has a bit of a double meaning all things considered. It marks Peter Parker's transition to another job, another apartment and a newer supporting cast. It also marks the title's transition from a team of writers, to only Dan Slott. You could also call it Dan Slott's "Big Time."

The writer's a fan-favorite who grew up a fan of the title, and you can tell. He gets at the core of Spider-Man, and hits the bullet points. It's an optimistic Spider-Man he writes here that's quick to joke, has all-new friends and an all-new non-Mary Jane girlfriend. For once, Peter's used his smarts to get lucrative research position at Modell Industries, an Apple-esque start-up focused on creating innovative technology based on science.

Slightly more forgettable is the main plot, a new Hobgoblin by the name of Phil Urich. He's a part of this new Goblin movement, that Norman Osborn is somehow fostering from within prison.

This is also the debut of "Sound-proof" Spider-Man, a special costume designed to protect Spider-Man from Hobby's sonic scream. It renders him invisible to soundwaves as well as light waves. A good jumping on point for anyone. It's certainly Spider-Man. Is it my Spider-Man? Only time will tell. . .

Transformers Autocracy
Collects the 12-issue digital series of the same name
by Chris Metzen, Flint Dille and Livio Ramondelli

Take a look at the foreword first, and you'll see it's meant to be IDW's version of an origin for the Megatron characters and Optimus Prime. The former starts as a political insurgent, intent on overthrowing the Autocracy of Zeta Prime, and the latter is a police officer just known as "Orion Pax", following orders. The Great War between Autobots and Decepticons is already underway, so it's a matter of seeing how the characters evolve in the series in this context.

The colors are really washed-out, and the lines are sloppy. It's reminiscent of a Surrogates art style, and sometimes the action is hard to tell.

This was published digitally, presumably for 3 months and was IDW's first foray into the digital-first world for the Transformers franchise. Other than that, there's really nothing digital/tablet-specific about the reading experience.

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